This Is One Frozen You Can’t Let Go

, , , , , , | Working | March 1, 2019

Like most American teenagers, my first job was in a fast food restaurant. I went through my fair share of interesting stories, from the customer who laughed with me when his total came to $6.66 to an old woman who complained her milkshake was too cold, but the most memorable one didn’t even involve a customer.

Our walk-in freezer, naturally, didn’t lock, so as to prevent such incidents as those commonly seen on sitcoms. The outer freezer behind the first door was more like a fridge; the inner freezer behind a second door was much colder.

On an uneventful night, I go back to the inner freezer for more fries. As I go in, the heavy doors to the outer and then the inner freezer each swing shut behind me, as always. As I’m picking up the box, the lights suddenly go out, leaving me in pitch-black darkness. I then hear a commotion outside the inner door, followed by the voice of a female manager yelling.

The freezer is small and square, so, confused but not worried, I drop the box and easily fumble my way to the door, but when I push it open, I feel and hear it pushing against something on the other side. I squeeze out through the small opening I made to find a rack of salads half-blocking the door and the manager both trying to move it and screaming at a male employee my age. There was no freak power outage; he’d turned the lights off while I was inside and started barricading the door!

I barely know anything about this kid besides his name. We’ve had no significant or hostile interactions that I can remember, no arguments or anything that night. I don’t know if I did something to annoy him without realizing it, or if he just decided to play a joke on a random person. If so, none of the managers that night or the next day find it funny. I don’t even get to confront him myself; he’s sent home immediately. The manager who caught him apologizes to me profusely, makes sure I’m all right, and assures me he won’t get away with it.

Once she learns what happened, my mother calls them twice that night in outrage, but it’s unnecessary. None of the higher-ups hesitate or waste any time. He’s fired immediately, and I never see him again. Apparently, in the world of fast food, trying to barricade someone in a freezer with the lights out is a 100% indefensible action.

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